LAHORE: A mother burnt alive her 18-year-old daughter on Wednesday for marrying a man of her own choice in an area near General Hospital on Ferozepur Road.
Parveen Rafiq, who confessed to having murdered her daughter for “bringing shame to the family”, was arrested at her home in a low-income neighbourhood on Mast Iqbal Road. She set Zeenat Rafiq on fire more than a week after the girl reportedly eloped with Hasan Khan to marry him before a court in Lahore.
Police suspect that Parveen was helped by her son and son-in-law, both on the run, in killing the girl.
Cantonment SP (operations) Abadat Nisar told Dawn that circumstantial evidence suggested that the mother had been helped by other family members in killing the girl. Police were conducting raids to arrest the suspects, he added.
Hasan had agreed to let his wife return after her family promised four days ago to organise a traditional wedding reception for the couple.
He told the media that Zeenat was not willing to go back to her parents’ home because she feared they would kill her. “But she agreed after her family gave assurances regarding her safety,” he was quoted by a TV channel as saying.
Witnesses told Dawn that they had alerted the emergency rescue service after they saw smoke coming out of Parveen’s home.
“Police and rescue firefighters reached the spot, put out the blaze and recovered the body of the girl,” a witness said.
Police said they had collected forensic evidence from the crime scene, recorded statements of eyewitnesses and removed the body to a morgue for autopsy.
“A case has been registered against three suspects, including the victim’s mother, brother Anees and brother-in-law Mushtaq, on the complaint of her husband, Hasan Khan, under Sections 302 (premeditated murder) and 336/8 of the Pakistan Penal Code,” a police official said.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed police authorities to take strict action against all those involved in the crime.
This is the second case of ‘honour killing’ in one week in Punjab. Last week, 19-year-old Maria Sadaqat was tortured and burned by a group of people in a village near Murree for refusing a marriage proposal from the son of the owner of a school where she taught.
Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2016